Monday, August 23, 2010

What Fresh Hell Is This

The school year is starting up and so is the chaos. It all began after we got home from the shower. The dog was sick all over the house and I spent that night cleaning up poop. My gut told me that we weren't nearly over, so I decided to keep the Spot Bot (one of the best inventions!) out. The next morning I woke up to more poop, did some laundry took Lily to a play date and came home to help Rob paint. Painting went well and I was starting to think "Hey, this house might start to look OK." Oh how silly am I.

On Monday, I took Lily back to daycare and Caroline and I went to start setting up my classroom. I got quite a bit done and was starting to think "Hey, I might just be able to do this without running around like a crazy woman." Oh how foolish am I.

I took Caroline to the doctor to find out that what I thought was a callus was actually a planter's wart. At first I was relieved that she did not have a callus because of too small shoes and that it commonly happens to swimmers. Then I started to feel bad that we'd let it go so long.

I took her out to lunch, we ran a few errands. We picked up Lily and I headed home for a nice glass of iced tea. Can you guess what was waiting at home?

That's right dog poop and pee. Before I could even asked what happened, Callie tore out of the house and ran down the street. I just stood in the driveway and sputtered. We hopped in the car drove around the block. We found her standing in a neighbor's yard with her head cocked to the side as if to say "Do I know you?" I informed her that not only did she know me, she was going to find herself crated if she pulled another stunt like this again. Once we got home, everyone ran for the hills while I started cleaning the carpet again. After an hour of cleaning, I Lysoled every room and sat down with my tea. Rob got home and Lily lost her mind. She started running around and climbing all over him. He went upstairs to change and Lily continued to rev up. She raced through the dining room. All of the sudden Lily comes up to me and whispers "Mooommy?" a voice that says "I know your going to be pissed, but remember I'm cute and you love me?" I look up and see her socks covered in yellow paint. I run out to the dining room and see a crushed Tupperware of yellow wall paint. Paint is all over our dining room carpet. It isn't so bad because the carpet is already splattered with paint from past projects, but I still don't feel like cleaning up another mess. Rob put her in the tub and I started spraying the floor with heavy duty cleaner. The good news is the toxic smell of the cleaner overpowered the smell of poop. The bad news is the cleaner smelled toxic. I am proud of myself. I didn't yell "Who the hell left the paint out in the middle of the room? " When Rob complained about the smell I didn't snap at him. I calmly explained that I could smell it, I was on the floor with it and had already cleaned up one mess. He agreed and went up to wash the paint out of her hair (it wasn't a lot, just little yellow highlights). I finished the floor, washed the dishes, tried to hustle Lily into bed. She was so wired after being with her friends all day. Rob took over and I went downstairs to have my tea, light scented candles, and watch Project Runway. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch

Today was my future sister in law's bridal shower. Now before I post with my usual sarcastic self, let me tell you it was lovely and I am very happy for her and my brother. Now let the smart assery commence!

I am not really a dressing up kind of person. Really I am happiest in tee shirts and jeans or shorts, ditto Caroline. Lily likes to dress up, but with her own spin on things. The average person wouldn't call her outfits dressing up. When I got the invitation to the shower, I was planning on wearing some nice shorts and a blouse. Then I went over the directions with my mother. By the time she got to "look for the McMansions" I stopped her. "Is this place fancy? Oh crap. We have to dress up, huh?" Well I took the challenge and decide to go for the "ladies who lunch" look. I found a twirly 50s/60s looking skirt and added a peasant blouse, my gramma's pearls and charm bracelet. Voila! I painted the girls nails and did their hair up fancy too. Lily had her fancy outfit, but I had to veto it. This really wasn't the time for her "hippie escaped form the retirement home" look. I washed her favorite pink dress hid the sparkly shoes that are 3 sizes too big and we were set.

I was very excited about her gift. I spent the summer working on a cross stitch for her and putting together a book of family recipes. So much of my family's history can be told through our recipes. All I had left to do this morning was frame the cross stitch. The problem was I could not fit it in the frame I'd chosen. I had cross stitched a daisy and chosen a pretty yello frame. It was going to fit. I was not giving up! There was lots of swearing and ouching, but I finally got it in. We left later than I'd planned, but still arrived on time.

Their friends' house was gorgeous. We pulled into their driveway and the girls just breathed "Wow!" I made a silly joke about let's act classy or pinkies up and away we went. Like I said her friends were very nice, just very different from us. The girls were so good. On the way home, Lily mentioned that we must be poor. I cleared that misconception up and we talked about how there are different lifestyles and one is not better than the other. You don't have to be rich to be a snob. Sometimes I know I am, just look at the post after this one.

I also know that we clean up nicely and can act like well mannered ladies. Yes! We're ready for the wedding!

I'm Trendy Now?

I have a new pet peeve. it's a silly one and probably pretty shallow, but I doubt I'm alone. What the heck is up with the whole "Geek Chic" thing? Since when did it become popular to be a geek or a nerd? When did Comic Con become the new Sundance? I'm looking at all of the celebrities who spent way too much money on their hipster, thrift store look and think you wouldn't know half of these comic books if they bit you in the ass. Heck, I wouldn't. I'm more of a word nerd and I earned my status the hard way. A painful, slightly lonely adolescence reading waaay too much Jane Austen. Can those posers quote the original Star Wars (part 4, my butt)? How about all of the damn glasses? Are you kidding me?! You don't earn the right to wear amazingly cool glasses unless you suffered through a hideous Coke bottle phase, complete with ill advised brown tinting. Glasses are not an accessory, they are an earned right. I kind of want to back hand all of the little fools running around with old 3-D glasses with the lenses popped out.

I am happily raising real nerds/geeks. We communicate half the time in movie sound bites. My girls have verbal vocabularies that would put most adults to shame. They read the book before the movie (twilight excluded, but really that's not literature). We watch strange nature documentaries and fantasy movies. We also crack puns freely. At times we have been know to snort while laughing. And really, we put little thought into how we look. We slap on our awesome glasses (glasses technology is sooo much better now) and whatever is comfortable and clean. We are who we are, no posing needed.

Was I high and mighty enough? I really don't know why this is an issue, but it is really in my craw lately:) Give me time and I'll go back to my open minded, inclusive self. Just take off the fake glasses first!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whispering Sweet Nothings

I've mentioned repeatedly Rob's and my tendency to trade barbs. It always surprises me how many people think that we fight a lot, actually, we rarely do. Since the day we first became friends in high school we have been trading one liners and fiercely debating. We used to debate politics, but now we are onto header things such as proper bedtimes and nutrition. We are two sides of the same coin and it works out perfectly.

I was watching a comedian the other night who was able to explain it perfectly. He was talking about how when you first start dating you're afraid to make waves, you sweetly ask if maybe the other person thinks it is cold and would maybe like to shut the window only if it is no trouble. He then goes on to say that his wife would just yell "Close the goddamn window!" to which he'd reply "I'm doin' it!" He explains that they are not yelling, but communicating in a "timely manner." I love it! That's it in a nut shell. So much of Rob's and my communication is quick recaps of the day and what is needed for the week.

The next time someone comments that we fight a lot, I'm going to explain that we are communicating in a timely manner.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Traveling with Children

I took the train to CT last week to visit my family. My last train trip with five year old Caroline was one of my worst travel experiences. This was before we had a DS or DVD player. All she had to occupy her was her motion sick mother. Three hours into the trip she'd lost interest in the coloring books and stickers. She didn't want to listen to Stuart Little (it wasn't as good as I remembered). She wanted to bounce on the seat and crawl on the floor. As I was bent over hissing at her to get up, she complied and bounced right into my head with such force that my sunglasses broke. Now I had a headache to go with the nausea, then the train broke down and we lost AC. We finally made it after I vowed to never get on another train again.

Well, 7 years later, I decided to chance it again. No surprise I was ridiculously nervous. I spent hours trying to cram a weeks worth of clothes into small bags, I gathered as many things as I could think of to entertain the girls. Luckily, we now have DS's and DVD players. I went through every worse scenario in my head, so much so that I woke up at midnight the night before our trip and repacked our suit cases into smaller bags so we could carry them on the train more easily.

In the end, all the planning worked out really well. As I watched people struggle with furniture sized luggage (Obviously they didn't read the Amtrak luggage criteria like I did at midnight), I was very glad of the revised suitcase plan. Lily was so charmed with the idea of the train. She and Caroline were so good! They watched movies and colored and cuddled and had a wonderful time! The lady in front of me made sure to tell me that I had "two wonderful little ladies." I couldn't have been prouder!

The trip itself was wonderful. We had so much fun with our family. We went to the beach and went kayaking. There is an amazing playground right on the beach and Lily had a blast. My step mother planned a special sewing craft with each girl. We also got a chance to see the new amazing town library that my uncle helped plan. One of the neatest parts was that Caroline got to go into NY with my uncle and Ellen to see the King Tut exhibit. She and Ellen are both very interested in ancient Egypt. Ellen will be going to NYU next year, so hopefully, next summer Ellen can take Caroline into NY again. While they were in NY, my step mother and I took Lily to a children's museum. She had so much fun playing in the water room.

I was so glad that I was able to take the girls to the place where I grew up. It is wonderful that they have the chance to spend time with my family.


Smile, Breathe

"Lily, did you break my scotch tape?"

"Well, it was so cheap, it broke when I picked it up."

I am trying so hard to teach her not to touch things that don't belong to her. I would be easier if she didn't have an answer for everything.

Unending Torture

I narrowly avoided one of those horrible mothering moments. You know the one when you are just a breathe away from yelling "I wish you all would just leave! I can't take it any more!" Of course, I took a breathe before the words escaped and pushed those feelings into the deep recesses of my brain (probably the exact location of the pounding tension headache that came on that afternoon).

What prompted that overwhelming desire to erase my family from the face of the Earth? I was cleaning the house, AGAIN! I feel like I'm in that story where the Titian (or was it a god) was damned to push the same heavy bolder to the top of a mountain everyday, only to wake up the next morning and find it at the bottom again. My house is never freakin' clean. I feel like I waste so much time picking up junk, wiping up gunk, and sweeping up muck. It's my own personal Groundhog Day. I also know that every parent (let's face it mostly mothers) go through this everyday. Yet, I find no comfort in that. They aren't here with me as I am crawling under beds pulling out Polly Pocket shoes (the inventor of that toy is a true sadist). Nor are they here to lend a hand as I scrub God knows what from under the toilet.

I have tried saying "Forget it!" and skipping cleaning. Well, you can read past posts and find out how well that turns out for me. Nobody has clean underwear and the children end up eating cereal out of mugs. Besides, I can't relax in a messy house (please don't confuse messy with cluttered, two different beasts). The last time I "went on strike," I was trying to calmly cross stitch when a giant dust bunny rolled over to me to complain about the lack of food and that it wanted to watch TV. It took a minute to realize that dust bunny was actually Lily, covered with a fine layer of dog fur and Popsicle sticky. Just kidding, it never gets that bad. I skip one day of bathroom wipe down and we have red ick growing around the drain and I feel like the worst mother ever.

As I relayed this to Rob, he responds "Well, you really only have about 8 more years of hardcore mess. Then the kids will be gone." Great, now on top of exhausted and frustrated, I am sad at the idea of my babies leaving the nest. Stick around girls, I'll deal with your mess!